When its viewed from the front seat of an ambulance with a patient in the back.
My on-call last night went very well, until about 4:45 this morning. I’d say that my years with the fire department have gotten me used to late night or early morning emergency wakeups, but let’s be honest….you never get used to it. Being torn from sleep by a screaming pager is not the way to start the day.
We arrived on the call scene, and the medical magicians did their thing. (I am not a medical professional, I strictly drive.) We left en route to the hospital, and while I was concentrating on avoiding the cracks and potholes that have appeared in the main road thanks to a brutal winter, dawn broke. I’ve always rather enjoyed dawn. Watching the sun come up always gave me a sense of peace. I’ve found that its best enjoyed while standing on the shore of a lake with a travel mug of coffee in one hand and a fishing rod in the other, but no matter how I manage to catch it, it is always peaceful.
Except this morning, and other mornings like it. And it has nothing to do with the fact that the temperature was -1 F when I left the house, or that I was so far ahead of my first cup of coffee for the day that the functionality of my brain was limited to the safe handling and operation of the taxpayer’s ambulance. The truth of the matter is, the luster of dawn is tempered by any sense of urgency. Be it late for work, or hauling a potentially serious medical case to the hospital, it doesn’t matter. Dawn should be savored because in the world we live in, those few minutes before the whistle is blown to start the day are the only moments of peace that most of us get. With busy schedules and two young kids, my only chance to get some quiet is to beat them up and savor the little bit of morning before the sun is up and the races begin.
I know my ‘bad morning’ is nothing compared to that of the poor woman strapped to a gurney in the back of my rig, but at the same time I can’t help but feel a little cheated. The sunrise was clear and beautiful, but I just couldn’t enjoy it because of the sense of urgency that dominated the morning. I liken it to being outside in the frozen winter, and being able to see a crackling fire in a fireplace through the window in someone’s living room. You can see it, and you know its wonderful, but from where you sit, it might as well not even be real.
There is, however a bright spot; one that overshadows the feeling of being robbed of the ability to enjoy this morning. Last night I got a phone call from the agency which I am looking to start my new career with. The board of directors voted unanimously to hire me on in a part time capacity. This means I can dump one of my tech support jobs and begin to turn the focus on full time work in my new field. The agency I will be working with has already filled their open full time slot, but there are other places looking to hire, and if I have experience in-field with this new job, I stand a better chance of landing my dream job sometime very soon. So in one respect, the sunrise I couldn’t enjoy this morning still managed to signal something new, something fresh…even if I didn’t realize it at the time.